Many travelers these days visit the Bay of Kotor for the same reason I did over a year ago: breathtaking views, Mediterranean climates and friendly locals. Although Montenegro is becoming a hot spot for many types of tourists and travelers, some places still feel plenty authentic for us to enjoy. One of these places is Perast, a tiny and photogenic village in the Kotor area.
To be honest, the Kotor area (including Perast) is becoming touristic. Especially during the summer months, when many travelers come to admire all that the town has to offer. The good thing about it is that tourism there is done in a Balkan kind of way; organized but still feeling very local. For instance it’s still possible to haggle with the different taxi boat companies at the docks and an ATM is still nowhere to be found. Mass tourism, like found in the major European cities, is still far away.
The major attractions in this small town are the two islands, St. George and Gospa od Škrpjela, or Our lady of the rocks. Only the last one is open to visitors, but during the short taxi boat ride there, you’ll be able to get a glimpse of a monastery on the other island.
On Gospa od Škrpjela you can find a church with a museum attached. The island is completely artificial and was made over the centuries by local seaman, who found an ancient icon of Madonna and child, or so the legend says. Although this is the busiest attraction of the town, I was here by myself the entire time.
Explore the town
After seeing the islands, don’t leave yet! The town has a lot of offer during the summer and you can be sure of spending an interesting afternoon walking through the small streets, visiting a museum or eating at one of the lovely restaurants at the bay. Climb the tower of the St. Nikola church for a view over the entire town and its beautiful surroundings (cost €1).
How to get to Perast
One way to get to Perast is taking a taxi. Taxi’s aren’t crazy expensive in Montenegro and it’s easy to ask your driver to pick you up on a certain time. I have found them to be reliable, but I always made sure I ordered a taxi at my hotel, just to be safe.
Another way is to take the horrible hop on, hop off bus, departing from the outside of the front gate at the old town of Kotor. It can be quite hectic there, with travelers arriving from all kinds of destinations, using all kinds of transport. Because of utter laziness (and 42 degrees Celcius) I gave up and paid for a ride with 3 stops, which were quite interesting in the end. The best thing about it was that we were completely alone again, both ways.